Brady Hoke has decided to leave San Diego State University to take over as coach at the University of Michigan, college football’s winningest program.
Hoke was hired after Les Miles rejected a chance to return to Michigan, his alma mater, to remain at Louisiana State University.
Hoke, a former Michigan assistant, led San Diego State to a 9-5 record and a bowl victory this season.
Athletic Director Dave Brandon announced the hiring yesterday on the Michigan website less than two hours after Miles, a former player and assistant coach with the Wolverines, said he was staying at LSU.
Hoke, 52, is the 19th coach in Michigan’s 131-year football history. He succeeds Rich Rodriguez, who was fired last week after three years and a 15-22 record.
“He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program,” Brandon said on the website. “We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom.”
Hoke, the 2010 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, was an assistant at Michigan for eight seasons before moving to head coaching positions at Ball State and San Diego State. The Aztecs beat Navy 35-14 in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23, their first bowl appearance in 12 seasons.
Rodriguez, 47, led the Wolverines to a 7-6 record this season, his only one at the Ann Arbor, Michigan school to produce a winning mark. The campaign ended with a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, the Wolverines’ most lopsided postseason defeat.
Rodriguez’s tenure also was marked by rules violations that brought penalties from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Brandon said when he announced Rodriguez’s firing that the coach’s tenure had encompassed “three years of turmoil.”
Brandon said he had also discussed the Michigan job with Jim Harbaugh, a former Wolverines quarterback who led Stanford to a 12-1 record this season and a win in the Orange Bowl. Harbaugh wound up accepting a job with the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers for what ESPN said was $25 million over five years.
Michigan’s 884 wins are the most in college football history.